SPRINGFIELD, MO – The Springfield Skeptics, an affiliate of the American Atheists, is pleased to announce their endorsement and participation in the 2nd Annual Ark Encounter Protest in Williamstown, KY on July 7th, 2018 from 10:00am to 2:00pm. The Springfield Skeptics are sending several group members as local representation to join hundreds of participants in protesting park’s unconstitutional violation of church/state separation, anti-science agenda and discriminatory hiring practices of the Bible-myth based theme park including:
discriminatory hiring practices as the Ark Encounter will not hire LGBTQ individuals, Atheists, Catholics, or Jews;
Forcing unmarried employees to sign a vow of chastity as a condition of employment;
the Ark Encounter’s anti-science stance, including its claims that the earth is 6,000 years old, the Grand Canyon was formed in 40 days, and that genocide and incest are acceptable;
the fact that the Ark Encounter will receive up to $18 million in state tax incentives, which are government funds endorsing religion;
the fact that 75% of the Ark Encounter’s real estate tax goes to repay their construction loan;
and the fact that area employees must pay 2% of their paychecks to repay the Ark Encounter construction loan.
The Ark Encounter is a “life-sized replica” of Noah’s Ark that Ken Ham uses as an “evangelical tool” to expand on Answers in Genesis’ mission to teach and promote creationism as an “alternative” to evolution. Despite Ham’s promise of an economic boom in the area around the park, attendance numbers have been far below his expectations and promises.
“In the two years since it opened, the Ark Encounter remains the most visible monument to the problems facing Kentucky and our nation today,” said Jen Scott, Vice President of the Tri-State Freethinkers. “The Ark is a potent symbol of the escalation of the attacks on the wall of separation between church and state. Discrimination against the LGBTQ community is still legal and all too common here in Kentucky. Reproductive health care, including medically accurate education, is being denied in the name of religion. And our tax dollars are going directly into Ken Ham’s pocket.”
This protest event has drawn interest and participants from hundreds of individuals from across the nation. Well-known speakers will be giving remarks throughout the day, such as former Christian radio DJ turned atheist, Seth Andrew; and Regional Director for the American Atheists, Aron Ra. In previous years, protests of the Ark Encounter hosted by the Tri-State Freethinkers, including their “Genocide and Incest Park” billboard, have garnered international attention and are featured in several documentaries, including 2017’s Bill Nye: Science Guy and the forthcoming We Believe in Dinosaurs. Over a dozen organizations are endorsing this event, including Springfield Skeptics, American Atheists, Secular Coalition for America, Black Nonbelievers, and Tri-State Area Atheists & Skeptics.
Facebook event information: https://www.facebook.com/events/163212947708438
Location: near 1 Ark Encounter Way Williamstown, KY. We will meet and park off the I-75 south exit ramp at Rt 36 (exit 154).